Saturday, April 30, 2011

Exclusive: Crisafulli's Election Ploy, Carbon Cult Politics, Telly Turkeys And umm ... Oh, Yeah, A Wedding. .

You know, there was a fabulous PR opportunity missed for the Royal Family to use last night's nuptials to re-cement themselves back into the wavering affections of Australians. The Magpie will briefly explain this oversight by the world's greatest family of grifters shortly.

But when a single event so dominates global media - as a fawning editorial in the Astonisher put it 'this young couple has to share it with the rest of the known world', not bothering to explain what part of this planet is 'unknown' - other stories of great moment get overlooked.

Ta da! Enter The Magpie, who this week will reveal that Superman - this is fair dinkum - is renouncing his American citizenship! Local television offers 'multiple choice - suit yourself' news and AN EXCLUSIVE - a sneak preview of Kid Crisafulli's first state election campaign poster. 

We also take a sobering look at Carbon Cult politics and what it really means, it's all here in The Nest.
If only those effete silken be-breeched boofheads behind last night's wedding (how'd it go? The Magpie waited for the footy) had some vision, they would have arranged to have some bits of the Bill and Kate show amended to reflect the Commonwealth family of nations. Really, how hard would it have been to have amended the vows to be more inclusive and  representative of the laconic style of Orstraya.

Archbish: And do you take this woman as your awful wedded wife - awful, lawful, geddit, Bill? Ha ha ha gotta keep it light and bright, otherwise people'll get bored (pause) but seriously, mate, do you? Really, do you, remember how your Mum and Dad ended up.
Prince Bill: ummm, oh, might as well give it a burl. 
Archbish: Do you Kate luvvy, take this bloke as your hubby?
Ms Middleton: Waddda you bloody think, ya silly old coot - think I'm just here for the barby and booze? Do I bloody what -  you betcha I do, with bloody bells on. 

And so on. But alas, traditional pomp and pageantry won out, with nary a dress thong (foot variety) or a Cowboys T-shirt in sight. And despite the threat of seeping weather, nor was there a precautionary royal poncho or beanie to be seen.

But during this empty hoopla, what of the other news events that may have slipped your attention?

Well, the biggy is Superman's vow to renounce American citizenship! It's all to do with Action Comics maintaining a very modern storyline, and Superman cracking a darky over the attitudes of some muslims about his misinterpreted presence in the Middle East. This may all lead to some sort of flummery that truth, justice and the American way should now be the universal way. Read the details here.  

But whatever happens, it looks like the Daily Planet's editor Perry White will be looking for a new reporter when Clark Kent leaves the country. Hey, maybe Jimmy Olsen has finished his cadetship (after 60 or more years, one would hope so, since he can't be too bright if he hasn't) and could perhaps have a crack at the top job at the Daily Astonisher when Typo finally gets the elbow. He, Typo, is out of town just now, possibly checking the property markets in southern climes. But maybe just on hols.

Speaking of media matters, the past week has thrown up some curious moments, mainly on television. 

The Magpie had a merry chortle over the promo for the Getaway travel show when it was trumpeted that 'George Clooney has put Italy's Lake Como on the map'. That's a bit like saying Julia Gillard's recent Sino visit has put China on the map, and is a dumbed down, blinkered conceit of the dopiest order. Mr Clooney's achievement will no doubt come as a bit of a surprise to the numerous popes, European royalty, current celebs like Madonna, Sly Stallone, Richard Branson and Gianni Versace and even the hierachy of ancient Rome, who have all made Lake Como a rubbernecker's paradise for at least 2000 years.

But closer to home, things got curioser and curioser in the local wonderland of television news last Wednesday night.

That morning, The Astonisher ran a story that talked up the V8 SuperPests - it's in the paper's business interests bigtime to do so - initially suggesting accommodation for the SuperPest weekend was just about all gone. It appears that WIN News took the highly questionable path of believing the Astonisher and re-wrote the basic elements of the paper's story, without getting past the water cooler into the real world.

So newsreader Kathryn Doyle, reading out of a studio in Toowoomba (which is maybe why in a previous story she referred to something she called the Mount Low Way Parkway) introduced the V8 accomodation story thus: '

Fresh from a bumper long weekend Townsville tourism industry is gearing up for the biggest event on the calendar. With less than three months to go to the V8 Supercars event, overbooked hotels are being forced to turn away potential customers.' 

We will assume overbooked meant fully booked.

But down at Seven on Denham, the folks there also read the paper's story but then took the rare step (rare in this neck of the woods anyway) of actually doing their own investigation, which threw a big question mark over the paper's claims. The reporter's information led to Seven's Rob Brough - sitting in a studio in Maroochydore - reading this introduction:

'The impacts of Cyclone Yasi continue to batter Townsville tourism operators, with bookings for the V8 Supercar event down on the past two years. It follows months of hardship, but many businesses say they're just happy to be getting visitors back to the city at all.'

We are truly spoiled for news choice, aren't we, and are able to choose whatever version suits our own tastes. However, The Magpie has to lean towards the Seven version, if for no other reason that the Seven Network has the V8 contract to telecast the event, so the newsroom would hardly be running a negative story if it weren't true.

While we're with V8s and The Astonisher, you may remember that little kerfuffle when Carmichael Ford went thermonuclear, releasing their own media statement when they claimed to have been sorely wronged by an Astonisher story that said they had treated staff callously in the immediate aftermath of Yasi. 

Carmichael Ford were eager to get their damning refutation out into the public, even emailing The Magpie a thank you for doing so (like he wouldn't anyway). Many have asked The `Pie what was the outcome of the matter and the heavily hinted-at legal action. 

Well, despite their keeness to air their sense of grievance at the time, Carmichael Ford management are now knee-knockingly coy - veeery coy - about the matter and where it currently stands. All that dealer principal Glen Sharp would say is that the company 'is still considering its legal position'. He was no doubt speaking also on behalf of executive director Andrew Carmichael, Big David long out of the business nowadays.

To The `Pie, this answer is a bit of a stretch, in that considering one's 'position' for three plus months is not recommended practice or in fact likely. So to this old bird, the situation has reached one of two possible stages. 

The most likely thing is that Carmichael Ford and The Astonisher have reached a private settlement which both parties have agreed to keep confidential, but most likely containing a very generous package of free ads for the jalopy flogger as a humbling square up. Very handy with the SuperPest season coming upon us.

BUT ... and as you can see, it's a big but ... consider this possibility... Carmichael Ford may have been a touch hasty in so quickly replying to the paper's accusations - and company communications may have been less than perfect given that all the company's principals were in California at a conference when the brouhaha broke out. Besides, why muck around with media statements, just sue the pants of the paper if you really believe you've been unfairly maligned. There'd be plenty of publicity in that. 

So - oh the irony - could it be that Carmichael Ford itself is awaiting a legal letter from The Bulletin, suing them for libel arising from their media statement? Which in turn would mean, unlikely as it may be, The Bulletin story was accurate in the first place.

Unless someone considers their position is fair dinkum enough to be taken to court in front of a judge, we may never know.

Other matters.

The Carbon Tax lurk was in and out of the news in the past week. John Roskam, the head of the conservative Melbourne-based think tank The Institute of Public Affairs, was in town during the week during a swing through North Queensland, giving his view on the carbon tax debate. (He's against it.) 

But perhaps the best exposition of just what is this deceitful, politically self-aggrandising and potentially ruinous impost came from award winning Fairfax journalist Paul Sheehan. Most interesting is the list at the end of the article, enumerating the reasons why the whole idea is just cynical bulls..t. On their own, items 1, 2 and 12 alone on that list tell the stark truth about this swindling mis-government. Read Sheehan's article here.

The Magpie has his own theory on this attempt to foist this theft upon us. Not even this federal government is stupid enough at this time to try to lift GST to12%, or maybe even 15%, to fund their fiscal misadventures. That's what they .. specifically that crook Swan ... would really like to do. They'd love a GST boost to assist in their battle to (quite pointlessly) put the budget back into surplus, by a purely arbitrary date. Given her track record on lying, the Mother Meerkat can hardly claim she has to balance the federal books in order to keep a promise, the carbon tax being the most prominent example of her duplicity.
So here's what The `Pie figures these intellectual pygmies worked out to fool the punters. First, bring in the carbon tax and then give half of it back to help the hoi polloi with skyrocketing prices it causes. The said hoi polloi are still stiffed to the extent of the other unfunded half. And then, the government can sit back and enjoy the two-fold benefits of whatever is left over from the patronising handout, AND the massive amount of extra GST higher prices will derive. Even the ruinous cost of the extra bureaucratic shiny-bums needed to administer this piece of churlish political manipulation can be comfortably absorbed.

The truly frightening thing is that if the tax is introduced, it will be there for good - no matter what they say, all sides of politics love that extra quid, and Wingnut or Talkbull will soon find reasons that it must remain.

Quite frankly, they're all bastards.

Now the final matter, and The Magpie knows that in revealing the following, he is putting at risk a hitherto cordial relationship with David 'The Kid' Crisafulli, the child councillor from the west (or he was some years ago when the nickname was bestowed). But The Magpie believes he has a public duty to stay ahead of the spin doctors. 

The old bird has come into possession of a highly secret poster which the LNP will use to bolster The Kid's chances in the seat of Mundingburra. And in revealing it, The Magpie is letting the cat out of the bag that the thrust of the campaign will emphasise youth, the future and generational change.

Well, as Rick said in Casablanca, here's looking at you, kid. 

But now it is away to Poseur' Bar, a place more accustomed to ponces than princes and cats that Kates, but the old bird will be-bubble some suitable lass to convince her of the wisdom of always giving something - or someone - ' a bit of a burl'. You know, it's the romance of Poseurs' that pulls The `Pie back every week. And c'mon, be honest, both you readers too.


  1. I've been uneasy (to put it charitably) about this government's headlong rush to get this carbon tax legislation passed (given that they really want to take their time and not rush other arguably more important things). I've been around long enough, I suppose, to have come to realise that when people in power say it's in (our) best interest, that usually means 'their own', and we just have to live with the consequences. I'm very glad they're not being let off the hook about the fact that Julia Gillard out-and-out lied (and then speaks very patronisingly about the unsplittable hair that - she nevertheless claims - separates a 'carbon tax' from an 'emissions trading scheme', whatever THAT Orwellian-sounding beast is when it's at home), and that its impact on actually making things environmentally better will be nugatory. When this whole idea was floated years ago with wooden Penny Wong as head cheerleader, I remember shouting at the radio in my otherwise empty car, 'but Australia only has one-sixteenth as many people as the US!' The science aside, how much good does anyone really think this would actually do, compared with the frightful per capita cost of putting this hopeless symbolic gesture into effect? So again I ask, especially also in light of how much damage it's doing to them at the polls, WHY are they hacking and thricketing their way deeper into this particular jungle? Who stands to benefit, given that any third grader can see that it isn't going to be Mother Earth, or the rest of us great unwashed?

  2. Peter Pluperfect of Hermit ParkApril 30, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    What do you mean, there was no Australian flavour injected into The Wedding ... I mean, after all, it was held in Westminster Yabbey.

  3. Being of suspicious mind, I looked at the kid's blocks to see if there was a hidden meaning.

    The vertical blocks spell "infra"

    Oh...I dig.

    Malcom, you are a cruel man...